For the Doctor, tinkering around in the mechanics of a NASA command module is a bit like putting up an IKEA cabinet—”there’s always a bit left over, isn’t there?”
So, in fact, the resolution of the Doctor’s death on the beach is reserved for the series finale, I suppose, the one in autumn, going by reports on James Corden returning for episodes 12 and 13. Fair enough, we’ll wait.
What’s more, uncommon for the 2nd part of a two-parter, this episode didn’t answer any questions at all. There is nothing to deduce from, nothing to extrapolate. Literally, nothing.
Let me elaborate.
There’s that picture of Amy and the baby, who might be the person in the space suit, who then regenerates. Let me repeat. That little girl just started to regenerate. HOW WOULD THAT KID BE A TIME LADY IF THE DOCTOR HADN’T HAD SOME… PART IN IT? (Unless the Silence tweaked someone else’s fingernails before Gallifrey went kaboom.)
In other news, I have to revise my statements from last week’s review, there is something more to Amy’s pregnancy scare than just jumping to conclusions due to prolonged sickness: according to the TARDIS full body scan, Amy is alternatingly pregnant and not pregnant. Maybe the Silence did that to Amy in the Lodger!TARDIS, if they have that kind of technology, and, if the baby really is the girl, Time Lord DNA lying around somewhere? Is she really pregnant, and does the Silence’s influence mean that her body—and the TARDIS scanner—look at it, see it, then look away and forget it again? Or is it just a post-hypnotic suggestion, planted into her mind by the Silence to mess with her? But why would they do that?
Also, only the women, Amy and River, commented on feeling nauseous after encountering the Silence, the boys never said anything. Now, is that just coincidence, male pride, or is there more to it? Were the Silence testing whom they might use to implant the Devil’s spawn? Sorry, I’m being rude.
The Girl Who Can Regenerate: is THAT the true nature of the Doctor’s relationship with Amy? And is this what drives Rory towards a terrible fate? Jealousy? There are those seeds of insecurity again, Rory talking to River about how he doesn’t have to imagine the Doctor changing a little girl’s life forever; and Rory doubting himself and Amy’s love for him whenever the Doctor’s around, despite knowing that he is the constant in Amy’s life, the one she can always count on, and the Doctor is the unstable factor, the one who might not always be around, try as he might. And the talk on the intercom, with Amy being unclear… this smells like there’s just going to be a long chain of misunderstandings, and one of them might just be Rory’s downfall, Moffat did say he was going to be pushed, or something like it, towards making a bad decision. Moffat, please, I am begging you, don’t break up the first functional TARDIS couple in new Who! AND DON’T KILL RORY. Thank you. Rory’s Always speech was perfect, and it was remarkable how, although Amy just accidentally broke his heart over the intercom, he didn’t show one speck of animosity towards the Doctor, and focused on rescuing Amy. ’cause Amy’s right, even Rory thinks, sometimes, in the dark hours, that “it should be him.” That it should be the Doctor, who would want a nurse when they could have a Time Lord? Well, newsflash, Rory, Amy wants you. (However, she should use her words more carefully—”time head” suggests Time Lord parentage.) The Doctor might be magnificent, and it’s somewhat irrationally logical for you to assume that, since the Doctor so clearly made River fall in love with him, other girls would be the same.
Except they aren’t. He is Amy’s Raggedy Doctor, the best friend she talks to when she thinks she’s pregnant. Also, he’s a bit her father. Remember that moment they had in the diner, when they meet the younger Doctor and Amy gets upset because, well, she did just see him die, so he goes to hug her, and his voice drops while assuring her that he’s alright only like a father’s voice would; before he looks at Rory and River for information on why his little girl is so distraught.
And now, they’re best friends, and, having seen lots of Confidentials and behind the scenes stuff with Matt and Karen, it is impossible not to appreciate, again, the change in the Doctor’s voice, he sounds like Matt does now, like Matt when he’s teasing Karen. It’s a warm, light voice, with a slightly stranger pitch.
It’s going to be interesting, and potentially devastating, how the Doctor’s pending death will affect the adventures they’ll have before taking care of the little girl.
As you might have noticed, I’m confused.
The fact is that the Silence have had a long, long relationship with Amy. They name her twice, and there was something they said to her in the Lodger!TARDIS, something about her bringing the Silence? Before Series 5 even began filming, there were rumours that Amy was actually from 1965, not from the 21 century at all. Is there any beef to that, at all? (The picture of her and the baby is in black and white.) If so, how much of last series has been a big, fat, lie?
My theory is that, perhaps, the Silence tried to breed a pilot for their TARDIS—and I suppose it went hooey, because, if I’m right and the Silence are bound to Earth chronology, the Lodger!TARDIS is from after this, when they’re using ordinary humans instead to create a scenario to get the Doctor’s attention, i.e. another story that’s back to front—and Amy was just what they needed. Who knows, they might have gotten Time Lord DNA from the Doctor while he was in prison in Area 51, before they built the cube around him. I guess just extrapolating an offspring like in The Doctor’s Daughter was out of the question ’cause they’re parasites, technology like that simply wasn’t avant garde in 1969. (What about Jenny, anyway?)
And if the girl survives, what’s the Doctor going to do with her? If she really is of Gallifreyan descent, she can’t stay on Earth! She can’t stay anywhere she might not be safe, which is, basically, everywhere but with the Doctor. Oh, buggeration.
There is another callback to earlier series, too, when the Doctor asks Rory what he remembers from his time as the Last Centurion. Rory answers that it’s like a door that he can keep shut if necessary—which is akin to how the Doctor explained the mindmeld to Reinette in The Girl in the Fireplace.
Anyway. What we must keep straight in our heads, as the Doctor puts it: nothing is what it seems. As we see events unfolding over someone’s shoulder, there could be so many things we don’t see simply because they don’t remember them. I mean, when Amy’s investigating that room in the orphanage, there are about a hundred of encounter marks showing up on her arms and face in a matter of seconds. Like that, the Silence could easily make months of someone’s memory disappear. Nowhere is safe during those months of running around the US, and until the humans finally start fighting the Silence, and even after that. After all, they did stay long enough to blow up the TARDIS in revenge in 2010, and, unless they have acquired a means of travelling in time until then, they’re bound to Earth chronology.
Knowing Moffat, this is quite possibly all bollocks.
What else is news: River. Oh, River. Her behaviour in the previous episodes we’ve seen her in was so different, less flirty, less touchy-feely. Here, she enjoys the Doctor’s innuendo, and we’ve never seen them as physically close as when they go up against the Silence back to back. That’s why she assumes it’s safe to kiss him when he brings her brings her back to Stormcage—except it wasn’t. And that’s why she knows to be less forward with him from The Pandorica Opens on. It’s her last kiss, and his first, and there’s apparently going to be a lot more kissing from now on, which, I suppose, clears up the issue of what their relationship is like, exactly. I’m guessing she’s not the Doctor’s wife (episode 4), but she’s got to be important enough for him to tell her his name, ’cause we still don’t know what the only occasion he could do that for is.
And, last but definitely not least: can we please all take a moment to appreciate this man?
Canton Everett Delaware III, who takes the biscuit to end all biscuit-taking by coming out to the racist, misogynist President of the United States, leader of a country in which being a homosexual is still a punishable offense, and interracial marriages not yet being too far away from that, either.
Yes. […] He is.
All that apart from arranging a hunt throughout the United States and the building of another perfect prison, deceiving the entire FBI; and being a fast friend on top of that. His worry about River was genuine and lovely, humbling us who are getting a bit cavalier with River dropping into space or an urban abyss.
- Nixon and the tapes. And saying hello to David Frost. History nerd societys allover the world are now hailing Moffat. 😀
- Apollo 11, geddit?
- CANTON FIXING THE DOCTOR’S BOWTIE. For a moment there, I didn’t know what my feelings were doing.
- Rory: “They [the body bags] really could do with some air holes!” — Canton: “No-one’s ever complained before!”
- The perfect prison, again. Except it’s got an invisible TARDIS now. It’s a good thing that none of the technicians ever bumped into it while building the cube.
- No, of course you won’t always be the taxi service getting River out of seemingly impossible escape attempts. Cough. And splash into the swimming pool, I like the way your brain works, Moffat.
- Renfrew reminded me rather unpleasantly of Renfield, Dracula’s unwitting puppet.
Oh, and who’s that Eye Patch Lady, as the BBC refer to her, the woman who talks to apparently no-one and then disappears as Amy goes into the little girl’s room. The BBC are teasing us mightily, and I quote, “a mysterious figure we will see again soon…”, their emphasis (episode section, ‘Fourth Dimension’). We will see her, but the Team TARDIS won’t, or what? Some nanny, that is…
Next: The Curse of the Black Spot.